Cabinet Submission to Ban Plastic Bags

Minister of Infrastructure Hon. Robert Tapaitau

We must look to ban Plastic Bags, was the comment made by Minister of Infrastructure Hon. Robert Tapaitau when asked about plastic bags use and the government’s stance in Parliament last week.

“We have a Cabinet submission which is ready to be tabled, involving the ban of single use plastic bags. I know this topic has been around for a while and I have taken it upon myself to make the hard decision to go ahead with this” Tapaitau said.

Earlier this year, another Pacific Nation took a strong stance against single use Plastic Bags, with Vanuatu imposing a ban on single use non-biodegradable plastic, including bags and polystyrene takeaway containers. This ban came into effect from January 31 and the Vanuatu government said local plastic bag manufacturers will only be allowed to use biodegradable plastics.

Tapaitau also told Parliament last week that the government was looking at imposing a disposal fee for bringing items such as plastic bottles, cups and others along with other plans in place to reduce the current landfill and the purchase of an incinerator in the next five to 10 years.

This ban on single use plastic bags and plastic items will bring the Cook Islands alongside its neighbors Vanuatu, Samoa, Niue Papua New Guinea and Fiji, who have taken a strong stand against climate change and the regional ban on plastic bags.

(Video courtesy Cook Islands TV)